Tennessee Shakespeare Company
presents its first Mainstage production of madcap
The Comedy of Errors

in partnership with the University of Memphis’
Department of Theatre & Dance
June 8-18

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Joey Shaw (Antipholus of Syracuse) and Blake Currie (Dromio of Syracuse).

Tennessee Shakespeare Company, in partnership with the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance, presents William Shakespeare’s madcap, joyous The Comedy of Errors on the U of M’s Theatre Mainstage from June 8-18.

Featuring a professional cast of actor-musicians and directed by Shakespeare & Company co-founder Tony Simotes, the production sets Shakespeare’s shortest, wildest play in the exotic and dangerous Greece of 1600.

The story features two sets of identical twins, who, along with their parents, were separated shortly after birth on the high seas.  Now, more than 20 years later, Antipholus (the master) and Dromio (his servant) come to a new land that is hostile to foreigners.  Little do they know, their father, chasing after them, is imprisoned and faces execution at sunset for crossing the border unless he can find someone to pay his bail.  And little do they know, their identical twin brothers live here!  It makes for the funniest, most bizarre day in the country until a final familial revelation changes everyone’s lives forever.

Returning to TSC as the Antipholus twins are Joey Shaw (Romeo; King in All’s Well That Ends Well; Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Colton Swibold (title role in Henry V last year).  Returning as the clowning Dromio servants are Nic Picou and Blake Currie (both from Henry V).

Making her TSC debut as Antipholus’ wife Adrianna is U of M alum Claire Hayner, and returning to play her sister Luciana is Rachel Brun (Juliet; Lady Anne in Richard III; Antonio in Twelfth Night; Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Founding TSC members Phil Darius Wallace (Egeon), Michael Khalarian (Pinch), and Stuart Heyman (Duke) join TSC Education Director and resident artist Stephanie Shine (Abbess) and TSC Artist-Manager Fellows Jillian Barron (Courtesan) and Marquis Archuleta (Angelo).  The cast also includes U of M students Destiny Freeman and Ellie Boisseau, as well as alumni Marlon Finnie and Zach Williams.

The design team consists of TSC veterans, including Scenic/Props Designer Brian Ruggaber (Much Ado About Nothing; Henry V; Richard III; All’s Well That Ends Well; Twelfth Night), Costume Designer DeAnna Rowe (To Kill a Mockingbird), Lighting Designer/Production Manager Anthony Pellecchia (Henry V), and Sound Designer/Arranger Jo Sanburg (Henry V).  Taylor St. John is the Assistant Director.  The production stage manager is Joshua Baggett, and the assistant stage managers are Kilby Elisabeth Yarbrough and Bethany Fichthorn. 

“This comedy has complications and reversals like no other,” says Simotes, on a break during the first week of rehearsal.  “Love, mistaken identity, servitude, and the pain of an unkind hand or foot propel our story and its characters forward.  At the center are two sets of ‘identical’ twins.  In casting them, we wanted to explore how we ‘see’ people by what they are rather than who they are.  Skin color, clothes, occupations, and rank all define how we are seen and treated by others.  In this Comedy of Errors, identity and tradition are challenged as our production’s Ephesus of 1600 AD actually reflects a multicultural universe that was the Mediterranean Sea's roads of commerce in the Ottoman Empire of Shakespeare's time.

Read more: TSC presents its first Mainstage production of madcap The Comedy of Errors

Save the Date for Our 10th Anniversary Gala

We are saving a table for YOU to join us for our 10th Anniversary Season Gala!  Mark your calendar now for Saturday, April 7, 2018, when we bring you a celebratory evening of performance and dinner in the beautiful ballroom of the Memphis Hilton.

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pic Flannery OConnorSouthern Literary Salon features
Flannery O’Connor: Georgia Gothic on April 21

Tennessee Shakespeare Company continues its popular Southern Literary Salon on April 21 with one of the more shocking American voices of the 20th Century – Flannery O’Connor.

Presented inside and outdoors at the spacious private home of Drew and Melia Murphy in Germantown (the site of previous Salons on Faulkner and Hemingway), Flannery O’Connor: Georgia Gothic runs 6:00–8:00 pm.

The evening features light Southern food, conversation, music, 45 minutes or so of readings from Ms. O’Connor’s works, and a mixed spirit of the author’s dis-liking (she preferred her coca-cola spiked with coffee).

Tickets are only are $55 and include all of the above.  Seating is very limited.

Read more: Southern Literary Salon features Flannery O’Connor: Georgia Gothic

TSC Receives Shakespeare in American Communities Grant for its Innovative Romeo and Juliet Project from Arts Midwest in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts

May 31, 2017 – Arts Midwest today announced $1 million in grants to Tennessee Shakespeare Company and 39 other nonprofit, professional theater companies across 26 states, plus the District of Columbia, to perform the works of William Shakespeare for students through Shakespeare in American Communities.

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Tennessee Shakespeare Company receives the matching grant award of $25,000 for its innovative 2017 Romeo and Juliet Project for the fourth time in its organizational history.

The Project will perform Romeo and Juliet 27 times in 22 Memphis area high schools and teach over 700 in-school sessions for 6,400 Freshmen – a total of 25,600 student interactions with a curriculum-based, classical play that teaches compassion, non-violence, and articulation.

TSC will partner with Shelby County Schools, the Germantown Municipal School District, and other municipal school districts to engage Freshmen students interactively with classical text that is part of the core Language Arts curriculum in the state.

The awards mark the fifteenth consecutive year of Shakespeare in American Communities, a national program managed by Arts Midwest in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.  Each of the participating theatre companies will present productions of Shakespeare plays to students from 10 or more schools.

Accompanying educational activities include in-school residencies, workshops, or post-performance discussions.  Performances will take place between August 1, 2017, and July 31, 2018.

Since the program’s inception in 2003, Shakespeare in American Communities has introduced 2.5 million middle and high school students to the power of live theatre and the masterpieces of William Shakespeare through performances and educational activities.

logo nea 2016 footer“The partnership that Arts Midwest and the National Endowment for the Arts have forged benefits not only these highly-talented theater companies, but the thousands of students across the country reached by these theaters’ performances and educational activities,” said Susan Chandler, Arts Midwest’s vice president.  “Shakespeare’s plays teach creativity, history, complex and intriguing themes, and rich language.  Students–especially those in schools that lack financial resources–across the U.S. deserve to be introduced to live performances of his timeless works.”

One hundred and eight theater companies across the United States have taken part in Shakespeare in American Communities since 2003.  These companies have presented 33 Shakespeare plays through 11,000 performances and 37,500 educational activities at more than 9,400 schools in 4,100 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support opportunities for youth in communities across the country to see a live Shakespeare production, as well as the educational activities that help them to get the most out of the experience,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu.  “Partnerships like this one with Arts Midwest help the NEA to achieve its mission of giving people across America access to the arts.”

“We are deeply grateful to Arts Midwest and the National Endowment for the Arts both for selecting to support Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s life-changing work in scores of Memphis area classrooms,” says TSC Founder and Producing Artistic Director Dan McCleary, “and for the tremendous service they provide to children throughout the country by making the arts and Shakespeare’s plays immediate, accessible, and affordable.  This effort is vital to our country’s humanity and education.  We are honored to have TSC’s work acknowledged by Arts Midwest and the NEA, two organizations that lend us and the work national prestige.”

Please view the complete list of 40 theatre companies that have been selected to participate in Shakespeare in American Communities for 2017-2018: https://www.artsmidwest.org/sites/default/files/2017-2018%20Theater%20Companies_0.pdf

About Arts Midwest   Arts Midwest promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest connects the arts to audiences throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six nonprofit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 30 years.  For more information, visit artsmidwest.org.

About the National Endowment for the Arts  Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities.  Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.  For more information, visit arts.gov.

Enroll Your Child Today in TSC’s
Fantastical SUMMER CAMPS at Hutchison School

CHOOSE FROM THREE CAMPS:

 

pic flyer summercamp2017bSOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES

For girls and boys entering grades 7-12

It’s Halloween in June! Confront your fear! No, not of Shakespeare, but come face-to-face with the mysterious and fantastical characters - human and inhuman - that enliven Shakespeare’s greatest works. Campers will learn what it takes to make Shakespeare really scary. This two- week camp will conclude with a camper showcase of ghosts, monsters, and visions.

JUNE 12-23
MONDAY-FRIDAY, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
COST: $500

 

BE A SPRITE!

For girls and boys entering grades JK-1

Explore the magical characters and incidents that populate A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest. Developing their characters and mastering Shakespeare through song, fairy games, and mask and costume making, campers will present their fantastic achievements in an end-of-camp showcase.

JULY 31 – AUGUST 4
MONDAY-FRIDAY, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
COST: $200

 

MAKE ‘EM LAUGH:
SHAKESPEARE’S CLOWNS

For girls and boys entering grades 2-6

Meet and become one of Shakespeare’s clowns! Explore and master the physical and verbal comedy and scenes that occur in almost all of Shakespeare’s work. Whether you want to be sad, happy, bumbling, or pompous, Shakespeare has a part for you. Campers show off in an antic showcase at camp’s end.

JULY 31 – AUGUST 4
MONDAY-FRIDAY, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
COST: $275­­­­

FOR MORE INFORMATION: EDUCATION@TNSHAKESPEARE.ORG OR (901) 759-0620.

Download the Summer Camps Registration Form.